AD #1478 – Tesla’s Hybrid Dealer System, Camry’s Major Refresh, Hyundai to Offer U.S. Diesels?

October 14th, 2014 at 11:55am

Runtime: 7:46

- Tesla Considers Franchise Dealers
- Camry Gets Major Mid-Cycle Refresh
- Toyota Hits 7-Million Hybrid Mark
- Hyundai on U.S. Diesel Bandwagon
- Vettel Hits Paydirt
- You Said It!

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37 Comments to “AD #1478 – Tesla’s Hybrid Dealer System, Camry’s Major Refresh, Hyundai to Offer U.S. Diesels?”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    “Hyundai on the US diesel bandwagon”.The more,the merrier I say.Now…wil Hyundai or Kia bring over a compact diesel pickup? I know they have them.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If Hyundai does a diesel Elantra and Forte hatch and sedan, VW will really be in trouble. Those would be direct competition to VW’s TDI Jetta, Golf, and Jetta wagon which are among VW’s best selling products.

  3. Lex Says:

    I find that the 2015 Camry looks like a dumbed down version of the Lexus ES300 especially with that feeble attempt to emulate the Lexus Spindle Grill. Why did the people at Toyota bother? There was nothing wrong with the previous sheet metal, nose and tail on the Camry. The interior and under the hood is were they should always put the money.

  4. Lex Says:

    One vehicle brand which is always recognizable is the Land Rover / Range Rover Brand. Those vehicles withstand the test of time. The same was once said about Volvo and Saab. I can not wait to drive the new Range Rover Discovery Sport due out in Early 2015.

  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    The typical Toyota Camry and Corolla buyers could care less what ‘s under the hood, only that it is quiet, comfortable and reliable. I have spoken to a couple of recent Corolla buyers and they could not tell me if theirs had a CVT or traditional automatic, nor did they care!

  6. MJB Says:

    On the Camry refresh:

    Toyota, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!!?

    For AGES the Lexus ES has been dogged by cosmetic similarities to its kissing cousin, the Camry. Everyone and their mother derides the choice of anyone to pay good money for an ES when the Camry could be had for so much less and was styled so similarly.

    Then, with the advent of the new Spindle grille, the Lexus nameplate finally managed to ween itself off of mother Toyota’s breast milk.

    And now you go and pull a stunt like this? Giving the Camry a Spindle-esk grille to mimic the luxury brand that still hasn’t fully recovered from years of ridicule because of it’s cosmetic similarities to you???

    C’mon’ Toyota!

  7. Lex Says:

    Elon Musk will have his hands full with the new Models “D” and “X” once they hit the market, not to mention his involvement with Space X.

    Maybe Warren Buffet is setting Berkshire Hathaway up in the Auto Dealer Franchise Business to begin a takeover of a majority portion of the Luxury and Near Luxury Markets which would include Tesla.

    I have got to believe Warren Buffet wants Berkshire Hathaway to be in a prime position once the Tesla’s of the world and those automotive brands from China hit the US Market.

  8. Bradley Says:

    Toyota – It “sounds” like you are doing the right thing, I am curious to see the interior changes on the new Camry.

    Hyudai – Diesel..Put it in a compact truck and that baby will sell!! Create a true wagon with it too.

  9. HtG Says:

    Vettel Vests

    If you think Ferrari are the ones paying Vettel’s retainer, consider the dysfunction that is F1. It’s a staggeringly deep hole that series has dug itself into.

  10. aliisdad Says:

    #3, right on, that grill is a wart on an otherwise great looking sedan, especially the black lower part.. I wonder if they made that lower part the same color as the car if it would look a lot better…
    Also, concerning the diesel…Yes, Yes, Yes, and a truly small pickup to go with it!!!!

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10, I’m sure some people will paint the lower part body color, both thinking it will look better, and just to make it different.

    Still, as Pedro said, the thing Camry buyers care about is that the car is quiet, comfortable, and reliable. I’m sure they will appreciate an improved interior, but most won’t care much about what the nose of the car looks like, one way or the other.

    The ES started out as the best selling Lexus product, but for years, the RX crossover has been their top seller, and they probably aren’t worried if they lose a few ES sales to a Camry that looks a little more like it. Actually, the current ES is more a “stretch” Camry, AKA Avalon.

  12. HtG Says:

    From the Department of WTF?

    Niki Lauda says today’s F1 cars are too easy to drive. They are ‘bullshit’

    Does Niki really work for Mercedes, the new constructors champion?

  13. Brett Says:

    I think that if they could replicate the performance and general characteristics of the 1967 GP cars without them being deathtraps, they would be quite popular with the fans.

  14. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC has a piece on the difference between the US Camry and the one they get in Europe, the latter has a more upscale, attractive front and rear.

  15. Chuck Grenci Says:

    So is Toyota making a mistake by sharing the grill of the Lexus (with the Camry), and will it help/hurt either Toyota or Lexus. Never a fan of the ‘spindle’, personally, I think it a mistake. GM sure took a lot of heat for ‘their’ sharing of design (or is Toyota, the ‘Teflon brand’, immune to ‘mis-deed’).

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12, F1 cars should have 6-speed manual transmissions with 3 pedals.

  17. Bradley Says:


    Toyota isn’t Teflon coated. GM was the worse at Badge Engineering. They may be doing it fine now, but for decades GM established themselves as the paradigm of how not to do it. GM may never wash themselves of that speaking point.

    Yes, Lexus/Toyota share parts, but I haven’t seen two equivalent models next to each other. IMO there is still a distinct difference in appearance.

    I do remember one item that made me laugh with Toyota/Lexus. Remember when ES300 always came with two tone colors. The bottom 6″ was a different color. That eventually became an option on late 90s Camrys. I guess in an attempt to make Toyota owners feel more Lexus.

  18. HtG Says:

    16 The same reason baseball is played with wooden bats, not aluminum. I think racing is fundamentally flawed, as a sport. It’s more of a business.

  19. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I’m calling BS on Lauda’s statement of F1 being “too easy to drive”; the ‘edge’ is so much sharper then ‘in the day’ of Lauda. As the saying goes, “walk in the other man’s moccasins” before making such a statement. There is certainly more going on in today’s cars (than in yesteryear’s; just look at the steering wheel controls) though they both had their own unique challenges. JMO

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19, I figure they were too easy to drive when they had automatic launch control, ABS, and stability control, but I doubt they are “easy” to drive now, except for the lack of a left pedal. Now, that at least have to shift with paddles, rather than being automatic. Weren’t they automatic for a while?

  21. HtG Says:

    20 I think in the early 00′s the transmissions were automatic. If you read James Allen’s book on Schumacher, he implies Ferrari had illegal launch control at some point to help Schumi, for whom starts were a weakness. Now everyone has launch control, traction, electronic braking, electric diff, etc. It’s complex, sure. I’m prolly just a dinosaur.

    I wonder what the sport will look like in ten years. I still like reading the intrigue and following races via radio.

  22. james leibensperger Says:

    Thanks for the good news on Hyundai/Kia bringing their diesel engine to America! It would seem fitting to put the engine in the Sonata, Elantra , and Genesis , oh maybe the Santa Fe too! I love Hyundai cars, and diesel engines, what a winning combination- now let’s get started building them!! James L.

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    Do you fellers believe Hyundai would be taking a big risk by offering a small pickup in North America? If it doesn’t pan out, it would be a lot of wasted money on R&D.

  24. cwolf Says:

    Adding a diesel into the Hyu./Kia mix sounds like a good idea, but, given the fact that fuel prices are declining, how can the extra cost of a diesel be justified in any of their low priced units… that is without only offering a diesel in a loaded vehicle. At present, it would take a very long time to break even.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23, I’d think they would do very well with a small pickup, like S-10 size, if they priced it right. They even have existing assembly plants in the U.S. where they could build it, and avoid the “chicken tax.”

  26. Ziggy Says:

    @21 – Launch control and traction control are illegal in F1 these days to try to bring out the best drivers with the best skills.

  27. cwolf Says:

    And related to the coming Korean diesels and others going though a cycle refresh….it may be bad timing; just like the Fiat/Chry’s NYSE offerings. I say this because in many of the investment areas the stocks have experienced the 200 day running average decline. Not only is this a US delema, but the result of the added problems in the EU (Germany, Spain,etal)and China. As you should be aware, its not a good time to hold onto stocks. The market is in panic!

  28. XA351GT Says:

    If you were going to replicate a Ear of F1 I’d say do the 71-76 cars. Those looked like race cars. Huge tires, Huge wings, Huge air boxes , Engines that made a lovely noise. No driver aids , No ground effects, No paddle shifts , no carbon brakes. Make the cars from the carbon fiber tubs and suspension parts of today, with all the safety protections that have been learned in 40 years. Do all the above and people would be in love with F1 again. I want to see a driver wrestle a car through the turns ,actually be able to out brake another without having to resort to punting them off or passing them in the pits. I want to see cars that can actually pass one another. You know real racing.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    With diesel cars, like VW TDI’s and Benz E250d, you get about 30% better mpg than the gas equivalent, but on fuel that costs about 10% more, at least where I am. The same would hold true with diesel SUV/CUV’s. By the time you pay the premium for the engine and buy the urea stuff, the payback will be very long for most people.

    Some people just “like” diesels, and I liked the 1.9 TDI Jetta wagon I had for a while, but when reality sets in, diesels, except for HD pickups used for heavy towing, will be a small niche for the forseeable future.

  30. cwolf Says:

    Kit, For in as much as I like diesels,esp. in small or mid-sized P/U’s,they just cannot be justified and be profitable as of this time. I would consider a new Colorado diesel(for the torque) when I invest in a 20-22 ft. fish’in boat. But then I have to ask if it wouldn’t be cheaper to pay to have the boat hauled twice a year during the season or borrow a p/u from a pal or relative. Why aren’t decisions simple anymore?

  31. Brett Says:

    No wings. Minimum radius for undercarriage cross-section. Bias ply, treaded tires.

  32. HtG Says:

    I’d watch that. Gordon Murray suggested getting rid of wings so cars could follow each other, and keep the ground effects.

    This is why historics racing is getting more popular. Bernie will have to find a way to get over

  33. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Well, if you are waxing hypothetical (on F1 rules), okay, go ahead. But with a rule book that probably looks like an encyclopedia, a couple of lines of extra rule or exclusion of rule is just myopic; I (still) think F1 is doing a pretty good job in putting on their show; though a couple of meathead rules suggestions recently, which have been either nixed or modified, might lead one to think differently. (I have in mind the drag-race start after a safety car and the no communication for driver aids via radio; glad they didn’t get too far (with those).

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Did F1 keep the thing with double points for the last race?

  35. HtG Says:

    33 it’s those bonehead ideas that make me wonder if Charlie is past his sell by date. Does he understand modern cars?

    Yes, still Double Dhabi

  36. Marshall Says:

    I wish you’d return to your previous page format. I can’t get the ‘Show transcript’ link to work and have tried two different browsers. Why change in the first place?

  37. James J Fisher Says:

    Tesla considers franchise dealerships?

    Whenever you start a Company, you look to the success or failures of other companies in your business and learn from their successes and their failures.

    Ford attempted to show franchise dealerships that consolidation of stores and having the factory run them was the answer to having franchised Dealerships in Salt Lake City and a few other spots.

    They spent millions to prove their point and they failed miserably and sold back all of the dealerships at huge losses.

    Franchise dealerships provide the motivation to succeed and the motivation for manufacturers to change. Without them, change would be slow. Secondly, in most franchises you have maybe 40% of the product as hot and the rest is what is called pushed inventory. In order to push that inventory, dealerships must invest more money in advertising, invest more in trade ins and as for more favors from their finance sources.

    A franchised dealership when managed properly and with all departments functioning at a high level can not be beat by any Company store in any location.

    Tesla should spend 100% on the product and 0% on trying to get around using franchised dealerships to market their product.